I heard it speak. . .

‘my winter garden’

In 1993 I moved down to a little shack high on the mountain. . .in Palmwoods. . . just out of Mullumbimby.  My son, Zeke, was 7 yrs. . . .I just knew I had to get out of the ‘rat race’, the traffic in Brisbane. . .was really affecting me.  People used to laugh when I said that. . .’cause I’m originally from Sydney.

Not long after we arrived at our ‘new home’ . . .it was dark. . .all our worldly possessions sitting in boxes around us.  It was a very humble shack. ..  the ‘Rat’ people were the previous tenants  -yes, they carried Rats around on their shoulders.  It was all I could afford, ’cause I knew it was time. . .to STOP. . . .and just be. . . my body was giving me messages loud and clear.  I attempted to make a sandwich for Zeke. . . .fighting the cockroaches. . .there must have been hundreds, I’d never seen so many.  My gorgeous boy sat on a box. . .tears in his eyes. . .he choked. . .”we’ve never lived in a pigsty before”. . . .such an amazingly gorgeous child. . . .so fortunate am I.

I reassured him that we wouldn’t live in there until I’d done lotsa work. . .we had the van. . .and a campground near by. . . that evening we slept in the van.  Next day, I set up the van for Zeke. . .my comfy Futon (I used to make them) and all my gorgeous cushions (used to make them too). . . piles of books and a plate of cut fruit. . . .Zeke looked like King Faruq. . .so regal. . .and so deserving.  Then I went inside and began the cleaning.

It took weeks. . .I scrubbed and scrubbed. . . .then began the painting. . . we weren’t going to move in there. . until the bedrooms were completed.  We lived out of the van. . .and down at the campground. . .Zeke was happy. . .and I knew I’d made the right decision. . . .the environment was simply breathtaking.

Of course, we eventually moved into our little shack. . .all renovated . . .the owner watched us with amusement. . .and I must say surprise. . . .yep I certainly was an excellent tenant. . . when I rented.

Anyway I was going to write one of my poems here. . . .written back in 1993. . .it was my first walk up the mountain. . .cradling our little shack.  It shocked me. . . it was the first time. . .I heard the Land. . .speak to me.

I heard it speak

it said to me

“I hurt’, “I’m in pain”

“look what they’ve done to me”

 Quite unexpected it came

a city girl

I’ve often been

didn’t expect

the Land. . . .to speak to me

The heart within me

felt the pain

the same life

that sustains

us both

‘Oh my god’

I said

tears came

to my eyes

‘why have they done this to you’

Human beings

where has our feeling


awaken, awaken

the danger time

has come



As we left Palmwoods. . .me to Ipswich and Zeke to live with his Father in Adelaide. . .he again had tears in his eyes. . .and he choked as he spoke. . . .”this has been the most incredible time . . . .of my whole life”. . .. so precious he is. . .so lucky am I.

much love



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